Saturday, May 23, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: IHRC Al Quds 2020 – terrorists, extremists, antisemites and violence
The IHRC Al Quds Day 2020 was like no other. If you doubt that the BDS movement supports violence, seeks to destroy Israel and wants to rid the Middle East of Jews, then you should sit through the whole toxic 150 minutes of this online event like I did.

Each year, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) are given permission to hold a radical Islamist event calling for the destruction of Israel as they wave their flags through the streets of London. They play a game in which they wave their extremism in our faces and laugh at the foolishness of those that permit them to recruit on our streets.

It is a pro-Hezbollah, radical Islamist event, that until the terrorist organisation was proscribed in the UK, would regularly see the flag of Hezbollah proudly on display.

Al Quds 2020 was different because it was online. There were no police to monitor their words. Instead the IHRC were allowed to invite whomever they liked and freely speak their mind. Before any British Government official ever gives these terrorist supporters another chance to walk through London – they should be forced to watch this event.
IHRC 2020 – Not just the usual suspects

Because of the importance of some of the content, I am not going to write up every speaker – but rather focus on those I believe need special attention. However, given some of what occurred it is important to remember the names of all those who participated.
Nazim Ali (host and Director of the IHRC)
Raza Kasim (co-host, IHRC)
Ramzy Baroud ( Editor, Palestine Chronicle)
Ramon Grosfoguel (academic, UC Berkeley)
Reverend Daniel Burton (Area Dean, Anglican Church)
Rabbi Elhanan Beck (Neturei Karta, UK)
Marzieh Hashemi (Press TV Journalist, Iran)
– read message from – Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini (daughter of Ayatollah Khomeini)
Yisroel David Weiss (Neturei Karta, US)
Roshan Muhammed Salih (5 Pillars)
Mizanur Rahman (Mizan the Poet)
Michel Warschawski (headed Israeli Marxist Revolutionary Communist League)
Hashem Al Haydari (Deputy Commander – Kataib Hezbollah)
Suhaila El -Zakzaky (Daughter of Sheikh El Zakzaky, leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria)
Ilan Pappe (Academic, Exeter University)
Mohammad Al Asi (Islamic 9/11 truther and extremist)
Haim Bresheeth (academic, SOAS)
Mick Napier (toxic extremist, head of SPSC)
Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour (Islamic cleric, speaker and extremist)
Narjis Khan (Lawyer at [UK] Goverment Legal Department and Islamic poet)
Masoud Shajareh (Chair of IHRC)

The IHRC video you have to see
According to his introduction, Mohammad Al Asi has been banned from the UK because of his extremism. During his speech Al Asi spoke about the fact that most Jews would need to be ethnically cleansed after the resistance successfully destroys Israel. Bringing back shadows of the Holocaust, Al Asi mentioned the need to ‘separate’ the Jews into groups – those that might be allowed to stay, and those that would need to be forced (violently) to withdraw (face expulsion). Just as he began to talk about ‘dezionising elites’, he ran out of time:

The Government Legal Department Lawyer
After 2 hours and 20 minutes Nazim Ali introduces an ‘accomplished poet’ by the name of Narjis Khan. The poem she recites is an anti-Israel, anti-western rant – in rhyme. During the poem Khan comments that ‘Palestine’ teaches ‘the meaning of resistance,’ and apparently refers to all resistance (she does not differentiate) as ‘self-defence’.

Khan also has a blog on the IHRC website. Her most recent contribution appears to be an eulogy to Qasem Soleimani the Iranian General killed in a targeted US strike. Soleimani was head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force and responsible for bloodshed throughout the region, often through terrorist proxies.

All this is bad enough. Participating in an event alongside rabid extremists that call for Israel’s destruction and writing poems for a man who helped sponsor terrorism throughout the Middle East. But aside from being a poet, Narjis Khan is also a lawyer who works for the Government Legal Department (GLD).

The Government Legal Department are the government’s principal legal advisers. Their core purpose ‘is to help the government to govern well, within the rule of law.’

It is surely beyond all logical reasoning to accept that ANY government employee in ANY government department should in ANY way be associated with the radical Iranian Islamist Al Quds day – and an event that also contains leading members of Kataib Hezbollah.
Axis of Resistance honors ‘International Quds Day’
On May 20, leaders of the Axis of Resistance and pro-Axis clerics published videos commemorating International Quds Day with the central theme being the liberation of Palestine.

International Quds Day, which was introduced by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, is held every year on the last Friday of Ramadan. The day is marked by protests against Israel across the region. Protesters burn flags of Israel and the United States as a way to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh addressed viewers by deriding the Trump peace plan and Israel’s possible annexation of settlements in the West Bank.

“Today, as we commemorate the International Day of Jerusalem, Jerusalem lives in a most dangerous stage as we follow the American-Zionist talk about implementing the so-called Deal of the Century, which is based on the liquidation of the Palestinian cause,” Haniyeh said.

Furthermore, Haniyeh warned Israel “From here I salute our people stationed in the blessed al Aqsa Mosque, and in their name and in the name of our people and our nation, we warn the Zionists against committing any foolishness against the blessed al Aqsa Mosque. We seek not only to liberate al Aqsa, but the whole of occupied Palestine.”

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah commemorated Quds Day by addressing viewers about the strengthening of ties between members of the Axis of Resistance. Nasrallah also affirmed the Axis of Resistance was “closer than ever to liberating al Quds.”

“Thanks to the cooperation of between countries and the forces of the Axis of Resistance of the Arab and Islamic world, we find ourselves closer than ever to al Quds and its liberation,” Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah also noted “The Israeli authorities are afraid and terrified by the victories of the Axis of the Resistance. They are also disappointed by the defeats suffered not only by this regime [Israel] but also by the United States and its allies in the Middle East.”

Another Axis leader, Abdul-Malik al Houthi, used his address to touch on several subjects regarding Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Al Houthi maintained his movement’s position regarding relations with Israel saying “We condemn and reject all attempts to normalize relations that some Arab countries, especially the Saudi regime, have attempted with the Israeli enemy.”
UN coronavirus aid going to Palestinian terror-linked groups
Millions of dollars of international funding for the Palestinians’ coronavirus emergency response, coordinated by the World Health Organization and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have gone to organizations with links to terrorism, a new report by NGO Monitor found.

The research institution focused on the funding of non-governmental organizations found that several of the groups funded by OCHA and the WHO are tied to the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Israel, the EU, US and Canada, and had staff members arrested and indicted late last year for the murder of 17-year-old Israeli Rina Schnerb.

Among OCHA’s NGO partners with ties to the PFLP are the Health Work Committees (HWC), Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR).

HWC’s Financial and Administration Director Waleed Hanatsheh bankrolled the PFLP that murdered Schnerb, and is currently standing trial for the murder, as is Samer Arbid, UAWC’s financial director. UHWC was identified by USAID as “the PFLP’s health organization.”

The NGO Monitor report also pointed out that OCHA stated that the aid money was meant to “respond to the public health needs and immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” but many of the activities funded do not appear to be vital or lifesaving. Rather, anti-Israel advocacy ventures were relabeled COVID-19 without substantive contributions to humanitarian aid.

For example, the OCHA coronavirus response includes a “Joint Statement on Israel’s Obligations vis-a-vis West Bank and Gaza in Face of Coronavirus Pandemic” by 18 NGOs, calling for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza to let medical supplies in. OCHA notes in the very situation report in which this statement is listed that Israel does allow medical supplies into Gaza.

The Israeli Security Establishment Helped Beat Coronavirus — and Is Ready for Future Challenges
As Israel gradually lifts the restrictions it imposed to protect public health amid the coronavirus pandemic, concerns remain over the threat of a second wave of infections. If one does materialize, Israel will likely be in a better place to counter it — in no small part thanks to the exertions of its security establishment, whose unique strengths were vital to the country’s fight against the microscopic enemy.

The Defense Ministry became the country’s main logistical arm as the crisis unfolded, leveraging its strong overseas procurement capabilities and its extensive experience handling sensitive shipments arriving by air or sea. The Mossad intelligence agency joined the fray as well, mainly to obtain critically-needed and highly-sought medical equipment from abroad. These efforts helped prevent shortages that might have otherwise crippled the nation’s response to the pandemic.

Within hard-hit municipalities, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)’s Home Front Command delivered food to at-risk populations, aided the evacuation of the ill to hospitals, and worked with communal groups to care for affected families. The exceptional encounters between these uniformed soldiers and members of the ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israeli communities, two demographic groups that largely forgo military service, reflected the widespread feeling of solidarity within Israel.

The Home Front Command also assumed responsibility for treating individuals arriving from abroad and managing hotels for those who required isolation. The Command’s commendable and tireless activities fell within its central mission — supporting the civilian sector during a crisis.

The IDF likewise facilitated the delivery of wide-ranging assistance to the Palestinians, including testing kits, protective gear, and other medical and humanitarian supplies, in order to mitigate the pandemic’s spread in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Palestinian Authority territories in the West Bank. These efforts seem to have born fruits, considering the low fatality rate among Palestinians to date.

But the military escalated its involvement even further. The Defense Ministry and the IDF’s advanced technology networks quickly developed systems that allowed hospitals to ventilate more patients, and to establish dedicated coronavirus wards where patients could be treated, monitored, and communicated with — all while isolated.
US synagogues demur as Trump demands states let houses of worship reopen
US President Donald Trump wants synagogues and other houses of worship to open their doors — but many Jewish leaders say his pressure won’t affect their timelines.

The president went on the offensive Friday, telling governors that he would override them to require houses of worship to be allowed to reopen after closing to stop the spread of the coronavirus, although he does not appear to have that authority.

“Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said during a White House news conference. “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. That’s not right.”

Trump was taking a firm stand in an emerging battle over whether religious services should be considered “essential.” As stores and restaurants reopen in some places, religious leaders have questioned why they cannot gather people as well.

But mounting evidence suggests that religious services, with people of all generations singing together in confined spaces, could provide a perfect storm for coronavirus transmission. And Jewish leaders from all denominations rejected Trump’s entreaty Friday afternoon, even as debate over how and when to resume services has begun to divide some observant communities.

The leader of the Reform movement released a statement in response to Trump’s remarks saying the country’s largest Jewish denomination “will continue to look to the wisdom of medical professionals to guide us on when reopening our synagogues can be done safely in keeping with our values.”

“While we long to gather in person, we believe that there is no higher value than pikuach nefesh, saving a life,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Hatzalah Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Raise Unprecedented $15 Million
Dozens of branches of Hatzalah emergency medical services, which operate volunteer first responder networks in Jewish communities around the world, collectively raised an unprecedented $15 million from some 83,000 donors last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It was a remarkable statement of the community’s thanks to a group that has helped thousands of lives.

An 18-hour global telethon united 47 Hatzalah chapters worldwide in a jam-packed concert with some of the best Jewish musicians in the world. Hatzalah chapters from the United States, Australia, Europe, Canada, Israel, South America and elsewhere were recipients.

“We were giving back,” event producer Davidi Crombie told The Algemeiner.

The talent was deep. The show included Jewish rock group 8th Day and modern Israeli-style singer Gad Elbaz. One of the best-known performers was Avraham Fried, whom the show producer Crombie called “the King of Jewish music.” There was also morning entertainment for children, performed by Uncle Moishy. Mordechai Shapiro, Benny Friedman, Eli Marcus, Shmueli Ungar, Shulem Lemmer and others participated.

One of the moving moments was the singing by Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot of Park East Synagogue, who had recovered from the virus.
Hamas-controlled Health Ministry reports Gaza's first coronavirus death
The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry announced on Saturday the first death of a Palestinian infected with coronavirus in the Gaza Strip.

The victim was identified as 77-year-old Fadila Muhammad Abu Raida, a resident of Khan Yunis.
The Health Ministry said the woman, who had a history of chronic diseases, died in a quarantine center near the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on May 19 and had been kept in quarantine since. She suffered from a prior chronic illness, the ministry said.

Hamas has closed crossings with Egypt and Israel except for essential traffic, but, unlike the West Bank, it said a full lockdown was not yet needed.

Gaza has reported only 55 coronavirus infection cases among its population of some two million. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, there have been two deaths and 423 cases, according to a Reuters tally.
Russia says willing to organize meeting between Netanyahu, Abbas
A senior Russian official said Saturday that Moscow was willing to organize a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, amid growing tensions between Israel and the PA over the new government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

In a phone call with PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov stressed Russia’s “support of the lawful rights of the Palestinian people for self-determination, including creation of its own independent state within the 1967 borders with the capital in Eastern Jerusalem that would live in peace and good neighborhood with Israel,” according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement carried by the state-owned TASS news agency.

Bogdanov also reiterated Russia’s “readiness to continue efforts… to provide cooperation in building a constructive Palestine-Israeli negotiations process, based on the known international legal basis of the Middle Eastern settlement.”

The statement said al-Sheikh updated Bogdanov about the Palestinians’ latest decisions concerning relations with Israel, seeming to refer to the PA’s announcement it was no longer bound by its agreements with Jerusalem.

Russia has previously offered to host talks between Netanyahu and Abbas, but such a meeting has yet to take place.
The Not-So-Strange Death of Israel’s Labor Party
Out of power since 2001, and now reduced to an extremely small rump in parliament, the Labor Party has mostly been a bystander to these developments in Israeli economics and politics over the last two decades. Nevertheless, it is instructive to see how the Labor Party, or indeed the Israeli Left in general, has reacted to these developments in recent years. During the 2000s, as the Intifada and its aftermath raged, the Labor Party in opposition still tried to portray itself as the party of peace, to diminishing electoral returns. In the first elections during Benjamin Netanyahu’s eleven years in office, beginning in 2009, the Labor Party employed a strategy now very familiar elsewhere—a certain combination of economic welfarism featuring themes like “times are tough, the rent’s too high, we can’t afford what we once did,” some vague but highly abstract—and certainly not ambitious—gestures towards the peace process, and the Israeli equivalent of a woke cultural agenda (mostly featuring anti-religious themes). In election after election, Labor tapped promising “leader of tomorrow” types who had limited appeal both for workers and the urban gentry who had other, more promising centrist options. During this time, Labor also continued to bleed support from Arab voters, one of its traditional bases, who increasingly voted for exclusively Arab parties. Labor’s attempt to balance wokeness with economic leftism fell flat not only because of the limited appeal of the woke cultural agenda but also because, in Israel at least, the economic message simply did not accord with reality. During the 2010s, Israelis general­ly saw their economic prospects improve dramatically.

By the election of 2015, the last before the elections of this year, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog had mostly recognized the limits of Labor’s approach. His campaign tried to accomplish what Benny Gantz has recently succeeded in forming—a centrist bloc that did not really differ that much from the Netanyahu regime but offered a “fresh start” away from Netanyahu. Herzog’s inability to break free of the welfarist economic message and the woke agenda, however, led to a massive and historic defeat. The 2015 elections may very well go down as the last time the Labor Party was a force in Israel.

Though he ultimately could not dethrone Netanyahu, Benny Gantz in 2019 and 2020 succeeded by running an old Labor Party–style campaign—but without laborers. Like earlier Labor candidates, Gantz was a general, patriotic rather than woke, and a man of few words. But unlike them, he was neither dependent on, nor constrained by, the Histadrut. As I noted previously, elsewhere in the world his efforts would be seen as a classic center-right campaign.

Looking forward, some melancholy about the fate of Israeli Labor is certainly justified—as is some trepidation about the politics of the state in the years ahead if the movement’s true animating impulse is left behind. If “start-up nation” is to crash, the country will require an organized political force that can reenergize the productivity of the state and aim to create high-paying jobs for its workers. The torch of national developmentalism—the original aim of Israel’s Labor Par­ty—might now have to be carried by others.
New Study Evaluates Major Drivers of Palestinian Terrorism
Palestinian terrorist attacks are not driven solely by the desire to kill as many Israelis as possible. Sometimes, the intent is to provoke a harsh Israeli response. Other times, the aim is to shore up public support or outbid rival Palestinian factions.

The distinction often is driven by ideological and political calculations. For example, Islamist groups often try to disrupt the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, whereas organizations affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are reticent when it comes to taking responsibility for some attacks, in order to maintain international legitimacy.

These are among the findings of a new study published by the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS) about what drives Palestinian terrorism.

The peer-reviewed study uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) to analyze attacks according to various Palestinian terrorist perpetrators, including extremist Islamist groups, like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); secular-nationalist groups, such as Fatah and other PLO-affiliated groups; and unattributed assailants. After 2005, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict changed dramatically following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, and Hamas’ violent takeover of the Strip. But many of the study’s insights apply to recent developments.

Terrorist organizations often seek to outbid their competitors by escalating violence in order to signal their strength and determination. For example, organizational dynamics help explain last year’s PIJ-led missile barrage against Israel, as the Iranian proxy seeks to remain relevant and overshadow Hamas’ dominance in Gaza.

The TSAS study also focuses on how various Israeli government measures, including major concessions, and other conflict dynamics impact different types of Palestinian terrorist organizations.
Soldier who lost leg in West Bank ramming attack moved out of ICU
An Israeli soldier who lost his leg after being injured in a recent car-ramming attack in the West Bank has been released from the intensive care unit.

״I left the emergency room. Everything’s fine, I’m alright,” Shadi Ibrahim said in a video from his hospital bed at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

Ibrahim, a 20-year-old from the Druze town of Sajur in northern Israel, thanked everyone who sent him messages of support.

“I couldn’t answer but I send my greetings. I love you and trust you,” he said.

After awakening Wednesday following numerous surgeries and the amputation of his leg, Ibrahim said he wanted to return to his Armored Corps unit, his uncle Assad told the Ynet news site.

“I feel good. I want to return to my soldiers,” his uncle quoted him as saying. “Nothing will break me.”
TV: Suspect in attempted West Bank shooting was Palestinian police officer
The suspect in an attempted shooting attack against Israeli motorists in the West Bank earlier this week was a Palestinian police officer, Channel 13 reported Friday.

The report said the involvement of a Palestinian Authority officer was a worrying development, noting that it had been a long time since a PA policeman was involved in a terror attack. However, Israeli forces did kill two Palestinian officers in a raid in January, apparently by mistake.

The report comes as the PA was making good on its threat to end security coordination with Israel over the new Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

Palestinian security forces were retreating from areas near East Jerusalem Friday after the Palestinian Authority ended its security coordination with Israel, multiple reports indicated, citing Palestinian officials.

According to Kan news, the gesture was largely symbolic — a few officers moving out of the East Jerusalem satellite towns of Azzariyah, Abu Dis, Biddu and Beit Ichsa, after getting special permission from Israel to be there as part of the effort to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Channel 13 said that the PA had sent messages to Israel saying that despite ending the cooperation, it would not allow terror attacks against Israelis or a mass popular uprising.

However, as the shooting incident highlighted, it could be difficult for the Palestinians to do both.
Israeli officials reportedly say secret coordination with PA likely to continue
Senior Israeli officials said Friday that security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was expected to continue clandestinely, despite the PA’s vow earlier this week to end cooperation over the new Israeli government’s plans to annex portions of the West Bank.

The officials said the Palestinians told Israel that they were not ready to “smash the dishes” and would not allow an outbreak of violent incidents, the Ynet news site reported.

Channel 13 said that the PA had sent messages to Israel saying that despite ending the cooperation, it would not allow terror attacks against Israelis or a mass popular uprising.

Israel’s security establishment, however, fears that the Hamas terror group will exploit the escalating tensions to step up its activities in the West Bank, Ynet reported.

Top Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri, who oversees the terror group’s West Bank activities, said Thursday night that the organization “welcomes [Abbas’s] decision to stop security coordination,” and added that he hoped “this time it will be serious.”

He claimed that “the return of the resistance to the West Bank is very possible and closer than what people imagine.”

“We stand at the gates of… the outbreak of a new uprising,” he said.

Palestinian security forces were retreating from areas near East Jerusalem Friday, multiple reports indicated, citing Palestinian officials.

According to Kan news, the gesture was largely symbolic — a few officers moving out of the East Jerusalem satellite towns of Azzariyah, Abu Dis, Biddu and Beit Ichsa, after getting special permission from Israel to be there as part of the effort to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
PA removes police stationed near Jerusalem, as Gaza said to freeze ties too
Meanwhile, Channel 13 news reported that Gaza officials had also halted all ties with Israel, putting the ongoing transfer of goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza in doubt.

That announcement came even as United Nations officials told Kan they would seek to transfer medical aid recently brought from the United Arab Emirates into the Strip. The coronavirus aid had originally been intended for the West Bank but PA sources told multiple Arab media outlets they had refused it, as it arrived on the first known direct commercial flight between the UAE and Israel.

Palestinian media quoted a government source Thursday saying the aid had been rejected, explaining Ramallah was refusing to be used as a “tool for normalization” between Israel and the UAE.

Israeli sources confirmed Thursday that the PA was making good on its threat to end security coordination with Israel over the new Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

In addition to security cooperation between the Israeli military and Palestinian security forces, civil ties between Israel and the PA were also set to cease.
Abbas's Precious Gift to Iran: Hamas
By halting the security crackdown on Hamas, Abbas would be paving the way for terrorists to kill him and his associates in the West Bank, as they had already begun to do in 2007 in the Gaza Strip, and possibly again in a coup in 2014.

If and when Abbas does suspend security coordination with Israel, he will be sending a message to Iran and its Palestinian proxies that the time has come to turn the West Bank into a center for Jihad against Israel and the "infidels."

At the same time, Abbas will be signing his own death warrant: Hamas has apparently not relinquished its desire to "hang Abbas in front of the Palestinian people." It appears to be decision time: Will Abbas ally himself with those who are protecting him or with those who execute him as a traitor?

Who’s Afraid of Ilhan Omar?
Rep Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) new memoir, This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey From Refugee to Congresswoman is out next week. Among the questions it leaves unanswered is whether Omar complied with House rules governing the big advance she reportedly received on the book.

House rules prohibit "the receipt of any advance payment on copyright royalties" unless the contract has been approved by the House Ethics Committee, as the Washington Free Beacon reported in December. At the time, neither Omar nor her publisher responded to repeated requests for comment about when, exactly, Omar signed her book contract and received the advance, which Forbes put at between $100,000 and $250,000.

Omar may have received the royalty payment before she was sworn in on Jan. 3, 2019, but her 2018 financial disclosure listed no book advance. We would like to see her 2019 disclosure, but Omar has filed for a 90-day extension.

Ninety days takes Omar just past the contested Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary that she faces back home in Minnesota this August—by two days, to be exact. We'll have to check back then.

In the meantime, we will wait, almost certainly in vain, for the armies of investigative reporters attuned to the release of Republican financial disclosures to find the time and care to ask these straightforward questions. It's not hard to predict how the congresswoman would respond given that accusations of bigotry have become her standard defense against what most might call public accountability.

Take the minor scrutiny her infamously mixed-up marriages have received from the news media. When the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board released a report on its year-long investigation of Omar last June, it revealed tax returns illegally filed with her husband, to whom she was not legally married, while she was legally married to another man.
Jihadist Charity Fukara-Der Continues to Operate in Turkey, Raise Funds in Germany
A jihadist front charity group that has channeled aid al-Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other armed radical groups in Syria continues to operate freely in Turkey's border province of Adana while raising funds overseas.

Hasan Süslü, who leads a Turkish NGO called the Aid and Solidarity Association for the Poor (Fukara Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği, or Fukara-Der), has been active in Syria, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Yemen and Afghanistan despite the fact that he was flagged as an enabler of jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS as well as Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), also known as al-Qaeda in Syria.

Süslü and his associates were investigated in Turkey on accusations of terrorism and even briefly detained, yet they keep working on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border while raising funds and partnering with European charity groups with no obstacles to their activities.

Mevlüt Mert Altintas shot and killed Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in December 2016.

New evidence implicating Fukara-Der has emerged in the indictment file for the accomplices of the late Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old jihadist police officer who assassinated Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in 2016. An examination of the killer's financial and banking transactions by the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) revealed that Altıntaş wired money to Fukara-Der in the amount of 115 Turkish lira on March 31, 2016. It was clear that the killer knew which organization shared his jihadist vision and decided to support them in a mutual commitment to the jihadist ideology.
Greece Accuses Turkey of Occupying Small Piece of Greek Land
Greece has lodged a protest over Turkish troops’ occupation of a small patch of swampland along the land border between the two NATO member nations. Nevertheless, dozens of Turkish soldiers and police remain planted there, defying demands that they retreat. The confrontation is the latest in escalating tension between the two age-old rivals.

For more than 100 miles, the Evros river rips down through Greece’s northeast frontiers, separating the country from Turkey.

About halfway down its course, the waterway swerves in and out of Turkey, creating a plain of small marsh. While officials call the area Melissokomeio, locals like Athanasios Pemousis commonly refer to it as "the horseshoe," because of its shape.

He says the area is usually flooded in winter but it is used by smugglers during the summer to sneak refugees into Greece.

In recent days though, he says, he and others have seen some 35 Turkish soldiers occupying the land, setting up a tent and flying a tiny Turkish flag from a tree.

It may be swampland, he says. But it is Greek territory.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry in Athens has lodged a stiff protest with Ankara demanding the Turkish soldiers pull back from the region. Turkey is refusing to comply, though, and that has Greece’s defense minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, extremely concerned.

Rising tensions especially in small areas, he says, heighten the risk of an accident occurring, a spark that could inflame already uneasy ties between Greece and Turkey.
U.S., Iran Approach Showdown Over Oil Tankers Headed for Venezuela
The United States "will not tolerate continued meddling" by Iran in Venezuelan affairs, a senior Trump administration official told the Washington Free Beacon, bringing nearer the possibility of a naval confrontation between the United States and Tehran over its shipment of oil to the heavily sanctioned Maduro regime.

Five Iranian oil tankers are currently making their way to Venezuela, where they intend to bust an economic blockade established by the Trump administration on President Nicolas Maduro, whose regime has teetered on the brink of collapse since the United States deemed him the country's illegitimate leader and placed a bevy of sanctions on the regime. The tankers included in Iran's fleet are already subject to U.S. sanctions, as is the oil transported on the ships.

The situation puts the administration in a tight spot: Either it enforces its "maximum pressure" campaign on both nations or avoids sparking a wider military conflict in American waters. President Trump has been clear about his intent to enforce the Monroe Doctrine—a policy of not permitting foreign nations to intervene in the Americas—but he has not yet been confronted with a high-stakes challenge from hostile regimes so close to U.S. soil.

"The president has made clear the United States will not tolerate continued meddling by supporters of an illegitimate regime that oppresses its people, denies basic human rights, and engages in violence and repression," a senior administration official told the Free Beacon, speaking only on background about the developing conflict.

Iranian military leaders said their oil tankers would reach the Caribbean in the coming days. In response, the U.S. Navy has already deployed several ships to the area.

Both Iran and Venezuela have threatened violence if the United States intercedes in the shipment. And while the Trump administration would not telegraph any actions it may be planning, U.S. officials made clear the United States does not intend to let Iran expand its malign influence into Latin America.

Iran has emerged as one of Maduro's chief allies as U.S. economic sanctions cripple both regimes. The Iranian tankers are carrying much-needed fuel for Venezuela, which has experienced severe shortfalls due to American sanctions.
Rouhani: Iran to retaliate if US interferes with Venezuela-bound tankers
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on Saturday of retaliatory measures against the United States if Washington caused problems for tankers carrying Iranian fuel to Venezuela, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported.

"If our tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world face trouble caused by the Americans, they [the US] will also be in trouble," Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Qatar's Emir, Mehr reported.

A flotilla of five tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela is approaching the Caribbean, with the first expected to reach the country's waters on Sunday, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data.

"Iran will never initiate a conflict," Rouhani said. "We have always the legitimate right to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity and to serve our national interests, and we hope that the Americans will not commit an error."

Iran is supplying about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela, according to both governments, sources and calculations made by based on the vessels' draft levels.
Rise in violent Iranian regime supporters in Berlin - Intel report
The intelligence agency for the state-city of Berlin registered May 19 a dramatic increase of violent supporters of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its newly released report.

In the section of the intelligence report titled “Other violent Islamist groups,” the agency confirmed 40 loyal supporters of the Islamic Republic for the period 2019. The previous year’s report disclosed no supporters of the radical anti-Western clerical regime.

US government administrations under presidents Obama and Trump have classified Iran’s regime as the worst state-sponsor of terrorism.

According to the 214 intelligence report reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, “There are other violent Islamist organizations, some of which are terrorist, particularly in the Middle East. The other part does not use violence itself, but is in favor of violence. The potential of people in this area has increased due to the statistical recording of the potential of Iranians who are loyal to the regime.”

The intelligence agency, formally called Berlin’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, reported 250 Hezbollah members in Berlin.
Last month, the German interior ministry outlawed all Hezbollah activities within the federal republic’s territories. It is unclear how the Berlin authorities plan to enforce the ban of Hezbollah activities with respect to the 250 Hezbollah members. Germany’s interior ministry defined Hezbollah a terrorist movement.
Iraqi protesters tear down Iranian 'Quds Day' posters - report
Iraqi protesters were shown on video in Diyala province ripping down Iranian propaganda posters that Iranian proxy militias put up for Quds Day. The billboards were first photographed on May 21. Iranian-backed Saraya al-Khorasani, which has been implicated in murdering Iraqi protesters, held a march for Quds Day in Diyala province. The protesters apparently gathered in the city of Baqubah, which is the capital off Diyala Governorate, and tore down the poster. It is 70km north of Baghdad.

The posters included images of Iranian leaders and pro-Iranian groups, including Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. They are part of the Iranian iconography that has extended across Iraq in recent years.

Baqubah’s city council had refused to put up the pro-Iranian posters and there was disagreement about the posters, which may have led to the protest. Differing accounts online conflicted eachother as to the exact nature of who put the posters up. The posters showed images of Jerusalem and Iranian-backed Houthi leaders as well as Hamas. The images were seen as a provocation in the city.

Protesters in Iraq, who have mobilized since last October, have often targeted pro-Iranian parties. Many of the protesters are from Shi’ite areas but they rejected the domination of Iraq by Iranian-backed militias and a corrupt system of government. Iraq has a new prime minister who is supposed to bring some hope to the younger generation, but the ossifying pro-Iranian militias nevertheless seek a stranglehold through their marches and posters.
Pompeo accuses Iran of ‘echoing Hitler’s calls for genocide’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday accused the Iranian leadership of “echoing Hitler’s call for genocide” after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for “eliminating the Zionist regime.”

It is “incredible” that Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Khamenei “are echoing Hitler’s call for genocide,” Pompeo tweeted. “This depravity should dispel any notion the regime belongs in the community of nations. We stand with Germany and Israel against this oldest & most vile form of hatred, and say #NeverAgain”

Shortly after Pompeo tweeted his condemnation, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Nikolay Mladenov, added a denunciation of his own.

“Dangerous calls for the destruction of #Israel should be condemned by all,” he tweeted. “Such inciteful rhetoric is a modern form of #antisemitism. The #UN will continue to stand against all forms of #racism, #hatred, and strive for #peace and stability in the #MiddleEast.”

Khamenei repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction this week.

“We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this,” he tweeted Wednesday.

“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” he added the same day.

Tech giants tell Jerusalem Day narrative of the capital’s thriving startup ecosystem
Despite limitations on the typical Jerusalem Day parades and festivities in the face of the coronavirus outbreak this year, the capital of Israel will enjoy livestreamed concerts, prayer services broadcasted from the Western Wall and many other web-based festivities that commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day-War in 1967.

But in addition to the (mostly) traditional celebrations occurring from May 21-22 on Jerusalem Day, Wendy Singer, executive director of Start Up Nation Central, believes that the Israeli holiday can be used as a day to commend the city’s lesser known, but no less miraculous story—the story of its thriving tech ecosystem, built from “basically nothing.”

According to Start Up Nation Central, Jerusalem has seen a 102 percent growth in the number of city-based tech companies since 2012, painting a picture of a fast-growing technology ecosystem that includes 405 companies, 22 exits and total investments worth $1.6 billion, of which $233.5 million are from the past year. In addition to the impressive 166 percent increase in the field of artificial intelligence, the most prominent sector in the city’s tech landscape is biotech and life science, which provides a range of innovative solutions for modern-day challenges posed by COVID-19.

“This is a lesser known part of the Jerusalem story,” Singer told JNS. “High-tech used to be the lesser known part of the Israel story, but that’s changed dramatically.”

Still, when people think about Jerusalem, said Singer, “they think of the seat of Israel’s government, conflict, history and culture. Why not use Jerusalem Day, when there is a spotlight on city, to tell the story of how this vibrant and on-the-word-stage tech ecosystem was built from nothing.”
Two Israeli firms receive ‘Oscars of the Internet’ honors
Two Israeli companies are listed among winners of the 24th Annual Webby Awards for online excellence announced yesterday (May 19).

The Webby Awards, considered the “Oscars of the Internet,” are given by the International Academy of Sciences and Digital Art in recognition of online excellence.

Leo Burnett Israel won a Webby in the Best Use of Stories category for Social, Education and Discovery series and campaigns for its promotion of the Instagram series “Eva Stories: What if a Girl During the Holocaust Had Instagram.”

Burnett also was named an honoree in the Advertising, Media & PR: Best Use of Social Media category for “Eva Stories.” Created by Israeli entrepreneur Mati Kochavi and his daughter, Maya, this series uses modern social-media tools to recount the true story of a Jewish girl murdered in a concentration camp.

MyHeritage was named an honoree in the Best Use of Photography category for its Tribal Quest project documenting isolated tribes in the world.
Golan Levi of MyHeritage with kids in the Hagen area of Papua New Guinea. Photo by Tamar Friedland

MyHeritage project also was nominated for a Webby Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category for Tribal Quest.

The 24th annual Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from 50 states and 70 countries. Fewer than 10 percent were selected as nominees.

For its pro bono Tribal Quest project, MyHeritage sent volunteer teams of employees on long voyages to the Siberian steppes, to the Savannahs in Namibia, to the jungles in Papua New Guinea and to the Amazon rainforest to help document family stories, traditions and beliefs.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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